About Me

I ❤ coffee. 

I am Shauna Shanks. I love green smoothies. I'm an author, mom & wife chasing smallness.

Operation Transformation: Making Old Things New

Operation Transformation: Making Old Things New

When people ask me why we are building a home out of shipping containers, I usually flounder around with my words.

“Micah’s dad is a contractor and he’s been dreaming this up for years now.” “We want a home that is economically sustainable, efficient, and creative living space." "We have seen other people do this and it was beautifully, successfully done.” “We want to create our dream space with as little debt as possible.” 

All true, but also my canned responses. 

Truth be told, I romanticize the idea of building something new and beautiful out of something that was old and discarded. 

We have spent a year so far breathing life into our property. Rather than buying everything new, we wanted to use as many found materials from around the farm as we could.

We poured our fireplace today using rocks we pulled from out of the creek.

Grandpa and Judah gathering "supplies"

Grandpa and Judah gathering "supplies"

We have incorporated old wood, creek stones, discarded doors, and scrap metal into this project. 

These pieces are all the more beautiful to me because they have a story to tell. 

Often Jesus talks to me in pictures, while I am hard at work and unsuspecting. A morning spent on top of an old rusty steel container last week became a sacred moment with the Holy Spirit. As I sat perched on top of the tarnished building He whispered, “Hey look. This is a beautiful visual for you of the work of the cross. See, it's been covered and made brand new. Ready for it's new function, with no traces left of it's decrepit former self. Much like how I covered you."

You can see the exposed container with stains, stubborn rust spots, and a partial seal on one side. The nice gray side has all that stuff too, but I have already rolled over the top of it with Flex Seal. 

This moment became sacred to me because a few years ago, I came to God exposed, uncovered, discarded, and very broken myself. His work on the cross is the elbow grease that brought transformation. 

Sometimes when someone asks me about Jesus I flounder around with my words. 

There’s so many reasons to love him, so many things to say that I come up at a complete loss.  Sometimes that leads to a canned answer. Not because of a lack of affection, but because of the weightiness of the question. How do you explain the complete redemptive work of Jesus in a tangible, current, and visceral way, while interpreting the living power of an ever-present invisible God? 

His blood is full of transforming properties, and there is real, relevant, life-breathing power there. I should know. He has a history with me of proving himself to be quite a good fixer.

In humans terms, the old rust spots, the dents, the stains, and weather damage, can be caused by many things. Divorce, an affair or broken relationship, abuse, the psychological after-effects from an abortion, loss, rebellion, addiction, guilt we carry, or just rust spots from sitting around doing nothing for far too long. 

Life effects all of us, and few are exempt from the scars of it. 

But his grace. His grace. His grace. His blood covers, transforms. It makes worn things new.  

His blood. It looks like this. 

You have a future and a purpose. You are not damaged beyond repair. I believe God quite fancies re-making things. He is not off-put by our tarnishes. He sees them. He covers them. And then He shines brightly. And we get to be re-made. Transformed. Useful. Beneficial for his purpose.

And more beautiful because we have a story to tell.


"He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit." Titus 3:5






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